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Jail cell fire under investigation

Nick Todaro, nick@ennisdailynews.com

John Erisman

Ennis police are considering what level of criminal charge to levy against a suspect who allegedly burned the ceiling of the municipal jail Wednesday.

Chief John Erisman said suspect Kenneth Blankenship, 37, of Wilmer, was picked up Wednesday morning for public intoxication, and passed a lighter through a pat-down and pocket search during book-in.

“He must have had it hidden somewhere pretty concealed,” Erisman said.

Blankenship reportedly burned some toilet paper in his cell and began using the lighter to burn the ceiling.

“It appears he was going to write his name on the ceiling,” Erisman said.

The chief said damage to the cell was fairly insignificant, but police are weighing charges ranging from misdemeanor criminal mischief to felony arson in the incident.


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Posted by on Apr 28 2011. Filed under News, Police Beat. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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